Movie Review: In a Heartbeat

This past Monday, the greatest short film I've ever seen premiered on YouTube. That's saying a lot, too; I'm actually a big fan of short movies. I've gone to film festivals, as well as directed and worked on crews for countless student films in college.

Lately, I--like many others out there--have become disillusioned by movies. My movie theater experience this past year has included going to see The Book of Henry ironically, so I could eat a huge Chipotle burrito in the theater and make sarcastic commentary, and avoiding The Emoji Movie like the plague. (Though, to be fair, I did see, and LOVE Guardians of the Galaxy 2.)

Movies in the past few years have been all about rebooting existing franchises until they wither and die. Sometimes, they rely on creating controversies and uproar (I'm looking at you, Sony) to get people to see a mediocre movie. Now, I need to be clear--I'm one of the most militant movie feminists you'll ever meet. We NEED more diversity in movies. That means we need more women and minorities writing, directing, and making up the casts of new releases. But using diversity, feminism, or LGBT stories solely as a marketing ploy is NOT positive representation. When more and more straight white male directors try to capitalize on diversity without actually representing the groups they claim to care about (and then trying to start fights among fans to get more attention), it does more harm than good. In these cases, the only one who comes out winning is the mediocre production company.
The movie poster.
The heart is SO CUTE!!

All right, time for me to stop being so cynical. Let's get to the good stuff!

I'm not quiet about my support for independent artists. As an indie author and content creator myself, I think it's super important to break down barriers to entry, and start celebrating works based on their merit.

That's why I was SO excited to see In a Heartbeat!

The first thing I love about it is that it came from a Kickstarter project. As many of you know, I used Kickstarter to launch The Furever Home Friends. I LOVE seeing passionate creators find success through crowdfunding. Especially in this case--the movie was made by two animation students creating their thesis film. These two super talented animators were able to jumpstart their careers by delivering an awesome movie that millions of people have watched.

They did it without the help of a major studio corporation telling them what to do, or forcing them to make creative decisions based on what sells best. Instead, these young filmmakers created a passionate, emotionally honest movie that tons of people can relate to.

Also, it's CUTE!!! The world needs more positivity and cuteness right now! (My spell check tried to tell me that "positivity" isn't a word. Maybe that's indicative of part of the problem?)

The other thing I LOVE about this movie is that it's 100% complete, pure, honest, positive LGBT representation! It's a cute story about a boy who likes this other boy at school, and doesn't want him to find out about it. The characters are middle-school age, so there's a beautiful innocence to it, as it captures those awkward early-teen years we all remember. In this way, the plot is almost universally relatable, which is why it's already resonated with so many people. It's like hearing a love song on the radio, and can't help thinking it was written just for you.

The plot still would have made sense if the characters were a boy and a girl. But the fact that it's two boys adds the main character's fear of being outed as gay to his classmates before he's ready, so that adds an extra layer of complexity and emotional tension to the plot.

I really hope that the sweet, emotionally honest way this movie shows LGBT relationships will inspire more positive media representation.

Definitely watch this video if you haven't yet! Here it is. It's only four minutes long, and it will make your day.

For me, it's helped restore my confidence in the future of film. It's also given me hope for my future as an independent content creator. I hope the overwhelming support for this video is indicative of continued support for independent work in the long run.

If you watched this video, what did you think of it? Leave a comment!

Happy Wednesday!



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